ANAL RETENTIVE!

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I feel like the term “BrideZilla” is thrown around a little too loosely these days, thanks to WE TV. I’m not going to pretend I don’t watch that show (if you haven’t seen it, do! ASAP! It’s hilarious) so perhaps I’m guilty of being easily influenced by this show as well. The minute someone refers to a bride to be as a “BrideZilla” I get irritated. Immediately.

There is a BIG difference between a BrideZilla and a bride that expects great, efficient and attentive service and expresses her opinion. I recently watch an episode where a bride smashed her fist through a gift her friend made, and another destroyed a cake at the bakery because she didn’t get the answer I wanted. Oh, and another one dumped a pail of water on her sister in bed because she didn’t wake up and snap to attention immediately to tend to her needs.

Why is it that whenever a bride mentions having difficulties or disappointment with a florist or caterer or event planner, then immediately someone says “oh, ho ho, you’re not a BrideZilla, are you?” Puh-lease. If someone’s a BrideZilla, not only do you not call them that to their face, but you definitely don’t have to ask. You just KNOW. They make sure you KNOW. Women like that use fear and intimidation to get what they want, and it’s a shame. By contrast, an organized and efficient bride with a plan doesn’t have to use these juvenile tactics. She gets what she wants without throwing cakes, floral arrangements or pouring cold water on relatives.

Now let’s talk about the term “anal retentive”. For me this conjures up images of some straitlaced OCD person with a stick up the bum. Or perhaps some other not-so innocent things. J Usually an anal retentive person smells of cleaning supplies, and freaks out about messes, and folds their underwear. Okay, maybe I do those last two things but still. I don’t think my day to day personality could be called “anal retentive”, but I will freely admit that upon occasion, I can exhibit “anal retentive” qualities. Who doesn’t?

I’ve been called “anal retentive” a few times lately, not because I’ve had explosive episodes of crazy, but that’s the term my family is choosing to describe me when discussing my wedding planning, or my planning in general. They’re so used to me having an itinerary whenever they visit here or I go there that when I told one of my sisters that I hadn’t done their itinerary for next weekend yet, she expressed genuine shock. She wasn’t even being funny – she was genuinely concerned that I was unwell. They’re just used to me being that way. I like to know precisely what the plan is, even if it’s just a “loose guideline”. If I know what’s going on so that I can relax and have fun – I know it sounds weird, but I find that having a plan is comforting. Yet somehow this is translated into being “anal”.

My mom actually dropped the “retentive” part and just called me “anal” when speaking about me to a cruise planner. “She expects a high level of service, if you say you’re going to call her back, call her back. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. She’s VERY detail oriented. You can’t half a$$ ANYTHING. I’m warning you, if you can’t handle that type of expectation, say so now. She’s anal!”

My littlest sis blithely called me “anal retentive” to my face while asking me about planning my shower. She asked if I had a theme in mind, and I gave her my idea (it’s super cute!!! Trust me!!). She kept probing for more, and I told her I was happy to help and give as little or as much input as she wanted. She responded with “I don’t think we’ll need help, I just want to know what you want. You’re really anal retentive about things, so everything has to be on point for your shower. I just want to make sure I do it right”.

THEN, when I was complaining to the middle sis about being called anal she agrees with them. She went so far as to call me “picky”. She’s usually the voice of sanity and reason so I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s not true.

And let’s not mention the fact that my mom sent an email to many of my friends and my family, with this picture:

Oh wait, nevermind, that was the BFF that sent that! Bringing my anal total up to 4 so far.

Recently, someone asked me how the wedding planning was going, and if I’d turned into a “BrideZilla” yet. I was a little offended. Okay, correction: I was REALLY offended. Now I’m starting to worry that I’ll work so hard to not come off like a crazy BrideZilla person that I’ll appear indecisive, nervous, sappy sweet and anxious to please others. In short, a dithery pain in the a$$ kinda bride. I DO NOT WANT TO BE THIS PERSON. It’s against everything I believe in. Lord help me from being that needy pain in the rear end kinda bride. I’d choke myself to death. Hopefully, my OCD/ picky/ anal retentive personality will win out.

If I’m honest with myself I guess I don’t really mind being called “anal retentive”. It’s an annoying descriptive, but probably fairly true. If people label me as such, and treat me in kind, at least I’m setting a level of expectation and will get the things I need without any fuss. I’m really all bark and very little bite, but no one needs to know this. J If I get great service as I’m planning my wedding because they’re all fearful of displeasing me and turning me into a BrideZilla I guess I don’t care. I know I’m not one, and I can’t imagine getting so worked up that I’d throw champagne bottles at my wedding planner’s head. That’s a waste of perfectly good champagne J. Around here we call that “alcohol abuse”.

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3 responses »

  1. I heartily agree with your observation that the term BrideZilla is used far too often. I understand that many people tip-toe around a bride for fear of “ruining her wedding”, even during the planning stage.

    My mom, who is the most supportive, caring, and involved mother, has been stand off-ish about wedding details, out of fear of ruining my experience, all because she read an entire book of how to be a wallflowerish mother of the bride (and not steal the show). It’s sad. I had to convince her that she could go all out and buy any ballgown she wants to wear on the big day.

    I think there’s a trend of brides upsetting themselves because they don’t speak up and give their opinion (in a firm but polite way, of course) about their wishes for their wedding day. They let others dictate what they want, and then all of the sudden, they explode about some small detail and become…

    BRIDEZILLA!

    I would say that I, too, like to be in control of the details of events I’m involved in. But I sometimes am offended when people too readily agree to that aspect of personality. I don’t like surprises, but love and am energized with rehearsals! With vendors, I don’t like repeating myself four or five times, or repeatedly justifying why I like or dislike a product or service. In the service industry, we should strive to achieve exactly what the customer wants, balanced with what they need (based on our expertise).
    Holding vendors (that you’re paying loads of $$$ to) to that standard does not a ‘Zilla make, IMHO.

    That said, when a product or service is unavailable, disappointing, or too expensive, it should be acceptable for a bride to vent/cry/growl to her bridesmaids, or mother when her original vision isn’t met. That way, she can react with grace with her planner, vendors, when another option must be chosen. I’ve seen several brides vent about a musician or a floral bill to friends and family, and been labeled a BrideZilla behind her back. It makes me so sad. If it weren’t a wedding (the most important day of a woman’s life thus far), but any other product or service order, the venting young woman would not be labeled as some kind of terror or monster.

    Pretty much any bride who complains or reacts negatively to anything wedding related is dubbed a BrideZilla.

    So I guess all that’s left to say is (if you’re still reading)…

    RAWR!!!!!

  2. Pingback: Wedding Dress Shopping, Round Two « Our Big Fat Cruise Line Wedding!

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